Traveling while black? The Green Book can help

I love learning about little know black history facts.

In graduate school, I created a website about Rosenwald Schools. Never heard of it? You’re in luck. Check out the site to learn more about how the unlikely partnership between Booker T. Washington and a Jewish immigrant named Julius Rosenwald created schools nearly 5,000 African-American school in the South.

My next project is about The Negro Motorist Green Book.

I first learned about the Green Book while listening to an episode of the Buzzfeed podcast Another Round with Heben and Tracy. 

During the closing segment the duo “buys a round” (hence the name) for a person, place, thing or idea. Heben gave a special shout out to archivists and digitizers at the New York Public Library.

The library recently published 22 digital versions of the Green Book, which circulated from 1937-1964. You can check the digital collection here.

 If you would like to listen to segment about the Green Book, start listening at 1:05:04.

So what is the Green Book? During the Jim Crow era, the annual guidebook provided hotels, restaurants, salons, barber shops and other locations that were safe for people of color while traveling.

The book is divided into states and major cities.

I created a Google Map of the Kansas City, Missouri locations from the 1963-64 Green Book.

On Sunday, I set out on a scavenger hunt to see if the locations were still in service or if the buildings were still around. I used Snapchat during as I drove around. These locations were around more than 50 years ago. I had hope that some of there were still around, but a lot of the buildings were no longer there. I did have some luck! The YMCA building was repurposed into an apartment building.

My plan is to create a multi-platform story that combines video interviews with people in the area who used the Green Book; audio slide show of what’s left of the locations; the history of the Green Book and an in-depth map of the locations listed in the Green Book. I would like to publish it on my station’s website. 

I’m really excited to work on this project. I will continue to blog about my progress.


Have I piqued your interest in the Green Book. Here’s a list of suggested reading:


Live on TV and Facebook

Local news stations are tasked with finding innovative ways to use social media platforms as tools to connect with their audience.

  • What’s the best way to share the story?
  • Where is the audience?
  • What are they saying about this?

I’ve been introducing new ways for KSHB-TV to use social media. I work closely with TV producers to incorporate digital elements into the newscast.

Within the first month of my job, our station used Facebook Mentions’ live video as a way to provide weather coverage in a non-traditional way.

(Source: Facebook)
(Source: Facebook)

Here’s how it works:

Many television journalists and meteorologists have been popping up in our Facebook news feed using an app called Facebook Mentions. It allows the user to broadcast live video, very similar to Periscope and Meerkat.

When the app was released in 2014, it was only available to verified pages fan pages.

Facebook Mentions has many features. The most useful one for journalists, in my opinion, is live video.

The reporter grabs a cell phone, opens the app, adds a description then clicks “go live.” A notification is sent to followers of the Facebook page. When they open the notification, they will be able to view a live video. The reporter can then use this platform to share information about an upcoming investigation; hold a question and answer session with viewers about a trending topic; or show behind the scenes of a newscast.

(Click on the image to see the video.)
(Click on the image to see the video.)

We’re live in 3…2…1

In January, our viewing area was expected to see freezing drizzle and a couple inches of snow. This was not a big event, compared to some other cities.

I thought this was a good opportunity to experiment with Facebook Mentions’ live video feature.

I trained our digital and broadcast staff, provided a list of best practices and provided producers a wording on how to phrase the Facebook stream on air.

This was a team effort where the broadcast and digital realm where integrated.

Our Facebook video stream started at 4 p.m.

Our meteorologist, Jeff Penner, answered questions from our viewers about expected snow totals, road conditions and even tips on how to defrost your vehicle!
There were moments during the newscast when Jeff told our audience join the conversation on Facebook.

(Click here to see more on Youtube.)

Our first video was about 45 minutes long, received 140 likes, 25 shares, 336 comments and 7,200 views.

Overall, we got positive feedback and comments like: “I love the behind the scenes,” “very nice idea to have you live streaming” and “way better than any weather app.”

Screenshot of live video from our weather coverage.
Screenshot of live video from our weather coverage.

The last two videos featured two reporters. The second video was about 20 minutes long, with 42 likes, 2 shares and 108 comments and the final video was about 35 minutes long with 2,500 views, 18 likes and 72 shares.


Important news finds the consumer where they are. That means optimizing content for the social platforms they are using.

Social media allows the audience to see and hear what others are experiencing. Instant feedback is provided through “likes,” shares and comments.

Editor’s Note: Live video streaming is now avalible to “regular” use


Saying “good bye” is never easy.

In a few days, I will be moving to Kansas City, Missouri to start a new job.

One of my co-workers, Trent Magill, made it a little easier for me to say parting words by creating about a dozen Dubsmash videos leading up to my last day. He tweeted out videos using the hashtag #FarewellToTaylor.

The songs he selected are about saying “good bye” or accepting change. The short clips show him holding the phone selfie-style lip-syncing to the songs with me in the background singing along. Some of them even show off our dance moves. The songs range from “Movin’ on Up,” the theme songs to “The Jeffersons” to N*SYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”





Twitter Polls

Introducing Twitter polls. (Click here to hear more from Twitter’s blog)

Previously, the feature was open to a select few profiles. Now everyone can weigh in on topics they care about.

For poll creators, like me, it’s a new way to engage with our audience and understand exactly what people think. For those participating, it’s an easy way to make your voice heard.


Here’s how it works: 

NOTE: I used my station’s Twitter account to access the poll. I do not have the option on my Twitter page, but our meteorologist Trent Magill could use the poll feature. He has a verified Twitter account. I think that Twitter is rolling it out to certain profiles first.

To access the poll, you must be on a desktop or an iPhone. (I have an Android phone. I haven’t seen any updates on my app for the new one.)

You will see a new icon with a “poll” button next to the “location” tab. When you click on it, you will see “Ask a question” and two options “choice 1” and “choice 2” appear.

WATE 6 On Your Side meteorologist Trent Magill used the feature today during our morning newscast, Good Morning Tennessee.

He asked a very simple question: “What are your thoughts on the rain?”

In East Tennessee, we’ve seen a lot of rainy days over the past few week. We’re expected to see more this week.



The question you ask must be less than 140 characters. (Typical for Twitter)

When choosing answers for the poll, you can only create two options. Each answer must be less than 20 characters.

Polls are active for 24 hours.

How to vote: 



When you vote, the choice you selected will show a check with a circle.



Twitter calculates the total votes, percentage for each option and how many hours are left for the poll.




The Online News Association’s 2015 conference and awards banquet was held on Sept. 24-26 in Los Angeles.

I was honored and proud to have been selected as one out of five journalists for the first ever ONA CNN Diversity Fellowship. The program recognizes digital journalists from diverse backgrounds with experience reporting for mobile and social platforms.

A photo posted by Taylor Shaw (@taylorcshaw) on

We received an all-expense paid trip to the conference to participate in one-on-one networking and mentoring events.

As part of the application, I had to produce a video that talks about my vision for the future of storytelling on mobile and social platforms.

During the conference, I found it to be the perfect opportunity to try telling stories with Snapchat. I used the mobile app’s geo-tagging feature (California has some really cool ones) and drawing tools.

I downloaded the clips at the end of each day to post on Youtube. (Sometimes the sound is out of sync with the video.)



Keynote speakers:

KEYNOTE: We Belong Here: Pushing Back Against Online Harassment

KEYNOTE: A Deep Dive into Google with Richard Gingras & Emily Bell

Popular sessions:

From Scheherazade to Snapchat: Ancient Storytelling Practices that Win the Internet for Good

50 Apps in 30 Minutes (+ 30 Minutes of Other Cool Stuff)

Reimagining Video Distribution for the Social Age

Simple News Graphics for Reporters and Editors

Community Engagement Models for More Inclusive Journalism

Tech Trends in Journalism


Live-streaming on Facebook Mentions

Facebook Mentions allows verified accounts to tell a story as it happens with live video.

The mobile app for iPhones (Sorry Androids) was released last year for public figures to connect with fans. I used the term “public figures” loosely because the app is now open for anyone with a verified account. On Sept. 10 Facebook said anyone with a blue check mark on their profile would be able to access to the program. (Click here for more details.)


Tearsa Smith, WATE 6 On Your Side anchor for our morning show Good Morning Tennessee, used the live video feature during the newscast today. She held the stream on an iPad.

I would describe it as Facebook’s version of Periscope and Meerkat, but only for “special people,” the verified accounts.

The video stream lasted about 30 minutes and by the end there were about 240 viewers.

I was having problems embedding the code from Facebook to the page. Here’s the live stream on YouTube.

Click here to view the video on Facebook. 

Tearsa posted the stream on her page. I shared it to the WATE 6 On Your Side main Facebook page.

This was the first time we used the app during the show. I think it was well received.

Tearsa showed the viewers what happens on the other side of the TV screen, a view many people do not see.

She asked the viewers to post questions in the comments section, talked to them during commercial breaks and moved the camera around to capture our meteorologist Trent Magill in the weather center and “right now reporter” Shelby Miller at the storyteller covering national news.

The response from our viewers were mainly positive. One woman even asked if we were going to do this every day.

After the show, I asked Tearsa if what she would do differently:

  • Give viewers a “heads up” – Let them know in advance that we will be streaming online during the show.
  • Test out the angle – Make sure the camera is placed at a flattering angle
  • Set up your live stream on one device (in this case, an iPad) and then set up your computer for comments.

After the stream, the video lives on Facebook for playback.

Announcements, hosting a question and answer session, sharing to other social media platforms and up-to-date trends are other features of Facebook Mentions.

I haven’t experimented with them. Partly because the Mentions app for Android has not been released yet. (Androids always get the short end of the stick.)


Facebook Mentions in the news:
Facebook now lets all people with a verified account use Mentions app (Mashable)

If you’re famous, Facebook Mentions app is right for you  (Tech Times)

Introducing Facebook Mentions: A new app for public figures  (Facebook)

WATE 6 On Your Side’s social media strategy

Curate. Create. Live.

195,000 Facebook “likes”

Screenshot taken July 31, 2015
Screenshot taken July 31, 2015

48.7K tweets

Screenshot taken July 31, 2015
Screenshot taken July 31, 2015

660 Instagram followers

Screenshot taken July 31, 2015.
Screenshot taken July 31, 2015.

657 Youtube subscribers

Screenshot taken July 31, 2015
Screenshot taken July 31, 2015




Post video
We give our videos context by pulling out a key quote, behind the scenes or moment from the video as the text of the most.


Go behind the scenes: We give our fans access to what happens behind the scenes, the interesting places we go and the cool things we cover.


FRIDAY FUN: We had a very special guest in the newsroom this morning. Ronnie Miller is an Elvis Tribute artist. He will be performing at the sixth annual Elvis Extravaganza on Aug. 1 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. DETAILS: Posted by WATE 6 On Your Side on Friday, July 24, 2015

We also post clips from the newscast, user-generated content and “snackables” from the talent.
A “snackable” video (see below) is a video a reporter shoots out in the field that is easy for the viewer to grasp — a “bite sized chuck of info that can quickly ‘consumed’ by its audience.

By order of Governor Bill Haslam, flags over the State Capitol and all state office buildings should be flown at half-staff to honor the lives lost during the #ChattanoogaShooting. DETAILS: a vigil at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, students, staff and the community followed suit.

Posted by WATE 6 On Your Side on Friday, July 17, 2015

Post links

We’ve learned that links with thumbnails and teasers receive 20 percent more clicks than links without.

Explain why to click

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.22.13 PM


Tell a story on the site

We use the photo, headline, link description area to teas the story and the post content to give context and encourage engagement.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.07.52 PM

Ask the right questions

The best words to use are:

  • Should
  • Would
  • Which
  • Who
  • Multiple choice

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.25.41 PM

Be conversational

Posts with a personal tone and clever language receive engagement 120 percent average, according to Social News Desk.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.20.44 PM

Create original posts

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.08.58 PM


User-generated content shout outs

We encourage fans to submit photos from around the area for a specific occasion or breaking news.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.26.13 PM




Tweet breaking news

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.31.35 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.31.47 PM

Ask a question

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.59.29 PM


We use our Instagram account to show a personality. We post behind the scenes photos and user-generate content.

We also gave the login to our reporters in the field to post while they are on assignment.

With our heavy Facebook and Twitter presence we are toggling on how to use each platform successfully with stretching ourselves to thin. Instagram is uncharted territory that we are working on increasing our following.


Our YouTube page is used as a community section. We post videos from live interviews on the page for the guest to share on their website or personal pages.


What’s next?

  • More use of user-generated content
  • Lauch and refocus on new social media channels, Instagram in particular.
  • Increase presence on the web
  • Give viewers more access behind the scenes.

Look up TV, Look down digital

As a reporter, or what my station calls a digital journalist, it is important to tell a story throughout the day. I have to produce a story through the day using social media as my platform.

Did you know more people own a digital device than a toothbrush?

Grandparents are the largest demographic on Twitter.

It’s important for any journalist, to keep things things in mind. This is just a glimpse of the changing media ecosystem.

Here are the 4 C’s of digital

  • Creating
  • Curating
  • Connecting
  • Culture

Throughout the day, it’s important to keep these in mind. News gathered throughout the day is reported throughout the day on digital. The newscast is where you tie things together and add more.

With digital, you are always ‘live.’ The 4 p.m. newscast is not a place where the audience first hears the news of the day. That’s where digital and online content comes in. Important news finds the customer throughout the day. The evening news is an avenue to show effects of the event or emotion.

As a digital journalist, content marketing is performed all day long for your customer. We must go where our customers are. That’s on mobile.


TV News vs. Evolving Media

Station control –> Customer in control

All views –> Viewers who need us

Newscast focus news events and newscast anchors –> In the moment focus

Newscast stories –> Right now content anchors, mobile snackables, right now content leader.

Social pictures –> Social video, social live streaming.

Promo texts –> Push alerts, SnapChat, Branding emotion

Mobile gives us the opportunity to innovate, experiment, mobilize and reorganize. Mobile is the most integrative aspect. It is replacing the role of wallets, watches, books and newspapers.

A digital journalist can edge out the competition by engaging the audience all day online and mobile platforms.

I must produce the day, like I would produce a newscast. This includes brand plus “in the moment” storytelling. 

With original enterprise content, hold back information. This will become the story for the newscast.

Push alerts are market stories for the newscast all day long.

Mobile alert strategy

  • Timing
  • Volume
  • Follow
  • Approach

Other notes:

  • Social media can be used as a news gathering tool.
  • Continuous coverage writing.
  • Mobile becomes the noon news of the future. People are on their phones during lunch time.

“5 minute prep” banana pudding

I woke up this morning craving banana pudding. I tried to ignore the craving, but it got the best of me.

Banana pudding is one of those things that can be created thousands of ways. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that “grandma’s banana pudding” is the best. But what if we don’t have the time, like grandma, to make her pudding?


I traveled near and far looking for the next best thing.

I went to Sonic to see if they served a banana pudding milkshake. Nope.

I took a chance at Food City to see if they offered banana pudding in the prepared food section. Nope.

I went to a local BBQ joint to see if they had banana pudding. Nope.

All tries to mask my craving for failed.

I decided to make my own variation by using items I had around the house. The only thing that I had to buy was pudding. I didn’t want to make the pudding, so I bought a pack of banana cream pudding cups instead. (I was surprised at how tasty they were.)


Full disclosure here: I’ve never made banana pudding.

There was once a time when I didn’t eat bananas. Those times have definitely changed.


Here’s my recipe for the very simple and very delicious banana pudding. (I call it the “5 minute prep” banana pudding, because it literally took me five minutes to prepare it.)


2-4 servings

– 1 banana

– 5 packets of Biscoff cookies (2 cookies are in a pack)

– Jello banana cream flavored pudding cups (4)

Other items needed:

– Medium sized bowl (for the pudding)

– Knife

– Spoon

– Small bowl for cookie pieces


– Crunch Biscoff cookies into medium and large sized pieces with your hands and place in a small glass bowl. (Make sure the cookies crumbs are not fine. They should be bigger chunks.

– Slice banana. (One medium banana should give you about 20-25 slices depending on thickness. If you prefer larger slices, use another banana.)

– In a glass bowl, layer cookie crumbles, pudding and banana slices. (Make sure you spread the pudding out and place the banana slices in an even layer.

– If you have extra cookie crumbles, sprinkle on top of the dish.

– Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

– Enjoy!

NOTES: I used Biscoff cookies instead of vanilla wafers, simply because I had a few in my pantry. I think the Biscoff cookies add a different taste. Feel free to add more cookies, pudding or bananas to the recipe, depending on your favorite part. My favorite part is the cookie. My recipe reflects that.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 2.45.34 PM


What do you think? Let me know! Send me an email at taylorcshaw[AT]yahoo[DOT]com.


This is how we ‘Roo – How to survive your first Bonnaroo

What to expect

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival kicked off on June 11. The four-day music festival is held on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee.

Billy Joel, Florence and the Machine, Kendrick Lamar and Mumford and Sons are a few of the headliners. There’s an estimated 80,000 people expected to attend this year’s festival.

Don’t get it twisted. Bonnaroo has a lot more to offer:

LeBRONNAROO: Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Clevland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors were shown on Sunday. Game 4 was also aired during the festival.

There was also a screening of the “Game of Thrones” finale.

The most interesting Bonnaroo event is the “quote-along” screenings for films like “Mean Girls” and “Zoolander” along with R.Kelly “Trapped in the Closet” series.

The Bonnaroo festival also featured a number of comedians, including Chris Hardwick, Ralphie May and Nick Thune.


360 #Bonnaroo

A video posted by Taylor Shaw (@taylorcshaw) on

My favorite performance came from Earth, Wind and Fire. It was amazing to see the people around me singing along to “Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland” because more than half of them weren’t even born when these songs were released. They had so much energy! It seemed like they wore the same outfits as they did in the 70s. They were great! I immediately added “Earth, Wind and Fire” radio to Pandora.

Click here for the Spotify playlist for Bonnaroo 2015.


#SquadGoals Earth, Wind and Fire rocked it last night at #Bonnaroo.


A video posted by Taylor Shaw (@taylorcshaw) on

Manchester is about three hours away from my home in Knoxville, Tennessee. I work at a TV station as was able to get press passes for the festival. I was a little nervous about the whole things at first. I’ve never been to a music festival before and I’ve never been camping. This was one of those moments where I had to dive in, head first.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Here are a few lists that I put together to help you prepare for Bonnaroo (or another music festival.)

Packing list

  • Poncho
    • Not bringing it increases your chances for rain.
  • Medications
    • Bring whatever you take at home, plus a pain reliever and allergy medicine.
  • Sunglasses
  • First aid kit
  • Bug spray (travel size)
  • Sunscreen (travel size)
  • Plastic grocery bags (5)
  • Toilet paper
  • Flashlight
  • Ear plugs
  • Towel
  • Washcloth
  • Hand sanitizers (pocket size)
  • Extra hair ties and bobby pins
  • Diva Cup
    • NOTE: I did not use a Diva Cup, but some of my friends did. They said the experience was different, but totally worth it. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I just used the portapotty without looking down into the abyss.
  • Travel sizes toiletries
    • Baby wipes
    • Body spray
    • Deodorant
    • Body Wash
    • Sanitary napkins/products (just in case)
    • Contact solution
    • Contact carrying case
    • Powder

If you do decide to bring alcohol, make sure its in a plastic container. Glass is prohibited at most music festival.


What to wear?

Since this is was my first time going to Bonnaroo, I treated it like a costume party. I spent hours in stores like Rugged Warehouse and Target trying to find the perfect look. I’ve been told by my friends that I always look like I’m going on a job interview. I can’t help it. I love trouser pants and blazers. I traded in these items for a flower headband and metallic tattoos.

Here’s what I packed:

  • Comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty
    • You’re on a farm! You can expect dirt and grass.  The show must go on rain or shine. Be prepared. I wore a pair of ankle boots from Target that I bought a few years ago. I also used my Dr. Sholls inserts to make them more comfortable. I trashed them after the festival because they were really dirty. My friends wore sneakers, Tevas or Chacos.
  • Socks (if you choose to wear closed toe shoes)
  • 2 sports bras or bandeau
    • I wouldn’t recommend wearing a real bra. It’s wayyy to hot!
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 dresses
    • You’re going to be in the sun all day. Pack a colorful flowy dress that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Tank tops (3)
    • Make sure you put sunscreen on your shoulders!
  • Hoodie
    • The temperature may drop at night.
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 1 hat
  • Swimsuit
  • Assessories
    • Flower headbands
    • Metallic temporary tattoos
  • Pajamas
    • I wore a pair of yoga pants and a cami to sleep. When I got cold, I put on a hoodie.
  • Flip flops
    • For a quick run around the campsite.

bonnaroo tent

Camping gear

I went to Bonnaroo with a group. One of my friends, Linda, owned most of the larger items on this list. She’s a she’s been to the festival six times. I guess you can say she’s a pro.

Here’s a list of the items we brought for camping:

  • Tent
    • Lucky for me, my friends knew how to set up a tent.
  • Tarp
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Pocket knife
  • Chairs

DON’T leave home without…

  • An external battery
    • I bought one from Groupon and I so glad that I did. Since I was unable to charge my phone, which I used as a camera, I bought a battery pack that was good for about three charges.
  • Long strap bag or fanny pack
    • I do not suggest wearing a backpack. Look for something small, but spacious. I used a bag I bought from a market in Mexico a few years ago.
  • Cash
    • It’s better to have too much, than not enough, especially since ATM’s inside the festival will charge a fee.



Was this helpful? I would love to hear your feedback. Shoot me an email, taylorcshaw[at]yahoo[dot]com. 


‘Follow the lead’

Over the weekend, one of my coworkers invited me to go swing dancing. KTown Swing in Knoxville offers a three and a half hour “bootcamp” for beginner dancers. I found a sweet deal on Groupon which cut down the $50 registration fee to $21. It was an offer too good to pass up.

While I am no stranger to dancing, partner dancing is new to me. Two people dancing, learning and moving together. Weird.

I started taking lessons when I was eight. I attended Nina’s School of Dance in Durham, N.C. until I was in high school. I took tap, ballet, jazz and modern classes. I also performed in recitals or at special events around the city.

I loved performing. It gave the dancers a chance to showcase their talents.

As I got older, dancing never stopped for me. I was a cheerleader in high school. I also took dance classes in high school. I was a member of my college’s modern dance company. I had opportunities to teach and choreograph performances for recitals and pageants.

Dancing is a part of me.

KTown Swing does not have their own studio, so we gathered at a coffee house downtown that lends space to the instructors.

There were a large crowd. Some wore regular clothes while others wore dresses and dancing shoes. I went to Walmart to buy a pair of Ked-like tie up shoes for swing dancing to go with my dress. There were quite a few men and people of different ages were there too.

We got into a circle and paired up. The followers stay in place while the leaders alternated thoughout the class. This gave everyone a chance to dance with other people.

One of the issues with swing dancing for me are the roles. There’s a leader and a follower. The leader is usually the male. They are the ones that iniciate the movements for the follower.

The leader to follower ratio was off, so some people were without a partner. I was one of them. One of the instructor saw me dancing by myself, so he came up and danced with me.

The footwork in swing dancing was not challenging. I grew up taking dance classes, so I am comfortable with keeping counts and fancy footwork.

My instructor noticed that.

He suggested that I “follow the lead:” pay attention to the body language and follow the flow.

That was hard for me.

When he said those words, it’s like I saw my whole life pass before my eyes.

I am a very independent person and allowing someone to lead was hard. Giving up control of my body and my movements was hard, but I did it.

I feel like this can be applied to life. Sometimes you have to give up control in order for things to work.


Here’s a look at the steps that I learned. 

Stream of conscious post

This is a stream of conscious post. I set my timer for 15 minutes and just started writing. I let the thoughts in my head, flow right down to my finger tips as I laid it all out with the tapping of the keyboard. 

It seems like when I’m not at work, I’m still watching WATE 6 On Your Side. Its its cool to see how things are on both sides of the coin. I know the people in front and behind the camera. I look at anchors like Lori Tucker and Bo Williams as the viewer at home would, but what I have over them, is I actually know them. I work with them. I think they are great journalists and role models inside and outside of the newsroom.

It’s almost 5:30 p.m. I should be preparing to go to bed. By preparing, I mean taking a sleeping pill. I don’t trust myself to go to bed at at night and wake up at 2 a.m. without a fight. I’ve been on this schedule for almost a month. Getting up at the crack of dawn doesn’t get any easier. It’s tough. I took a nap today when I got home, which was around 1:30 p.m. It was glorious. I woke up from my 30 minute nap wanting more. I wanted to sleep longer. I didn’t want to suffer the consequences later, so I pulled myself up and when to the Walgreens. I have to make myself be productive when I get off of work. I’d rather just lay around and sleep, but there is things that need to be done. Like washing clothes, making sure my apartment is clean and doing fun things so it doesn’t feel like all I do is eat, sleep and work.

That’s what it seems like anyway. I commend all of the #amnewsers out there.

I feel like I’m losing my balance. I feel like I’m stuck. I need to get out of this rut. I need to find balance. I’m working on that. I realize this in my life and I’m working to overcome this battle. I know that this is only temporary, not permanent.

My birthday is on Monday. I will be 25 years old. This is shocking. 25. WOW.  I can’t beleive it. I will officially be labeled mid-twenties. I don’t have any plans for Monday. This weekend my dear friend from graduate school is coming to visit me. I’m so excited. I hope the weather is nice so we can do fun things like the Rosinni Festival and go to a winery. I cant wait to hangout like the good ol’ days when we were students. It was almost a year ago. That is also hard to believe.

I think I may have onset carpel tunnel syndrome. I can remember taking typing class in middle school. I dreaded it at first. But boy, am I glad I took the course . I know there are some people out there that can’t type. That’s shocking. Why are you grown and still pecking at your keyboard? Get it together. I totally disregard the first rule of typing, keep your wrists raised. I type with my wrist lowered, which would explain why they sound like popcorn when I move them up and down. My toes do the same thing. I blame that on dance, though.

I miss dancing. I miss performing.

I have to plan activities for My friend and I to do when she comes. That’s another thing to add to my never-ending “to do list.”

This has been a long 15 minutes. I typed a lot. I had a lot to say. I think this is a good exercise to clear your brain. I had a lot going on up there, from work to personal life. This helps me let my juices flow. I want to do this more often. I feel like there is always something going on up there. Always.

I am watching a story on the news about the co-founder of a local non-profit who passed away last night. Her name was Ellen Turner. She and her twins sister Helen founded The Love Kitchen. They served meals to the homeless and homebound of Knoxville. I’ve never met them, but just hearing their story brings tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine how the other sister feels. They’re 87 years old. That

Makings of an #AMNewser

My world flipped upside down, literally. I am the newest member of #AMNewsers. This elite group of journalists wake up at the crack of dawn to deliver the news to the early birds. In my case, I wake up at 2 a.m. for my 4 a.m. shift. Just this time last week, I would fall asleep around this time. I worked nightside. My old shift started at 3 p.m. and ended at midnight (sometimes later.)

I attacked my first day with ferocity. Daylight Savings Time has made this feat very hard. I go to sleep while the sun is still up. With the help of hot tea, coffee and a sleeping aid, I made it through my first day.

I used SnapChat to chronicle a “day in the life.” I am really thankful that the mobile app that also allows users to download their videos. With a small edit (my video was too long, so I had to break it up into smaller parts) and Final Cut Pro, I uploaded the video on YouTube. The only downside about the video is that the time marks placed over the video does not appear in the final project. Also, the vertical video option is rather annoying. I hope future versions would allow you to shoot video horizontally and the special text features would adjust.

RECIPE: Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

1 can  cinnamon rolls with icing
bacon strips (1 slice for each cinnamon bun)

– Preheat oven to 350°F.
– Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Place bacon strips in skillet and fry for 2-3 minutes until still soft but slightly cooked. Remove bacon and pat dry with paper towels
– Pop open the can of cinnamon rolls and unroll them into long strips. Lay one strip of bacon on each cinnamon roll strip, then roll them back up. Place each bacon roll in a greased pie pan.
– Cook according to package instructions, then drizzle with icing from the package.